Sunday, December 30, 2012

NFL Picks: Week 17

Being that it is Week 17, there were no games earlier in the week and there is no Monday Night Football. It is also the worst gambling week of the season, with so many teams with potentially nothing to play for (my fantasy team needs you Julio Jones, please play). I'm going to put this disclaimer here: I have no confidence in most of my picks this week. Now that I've gotten that out of the way, it's time to get some picks wrong! I went 10-6 last week bringing my overall record to 115-127-4*.  Ever since the Seahawks got a gift from the replacement refs, this year has been cursed, including the math of this season. This of course means that after today, I would have picked 262 games this year, 6 more games than there are in a season. Just ignore that terrible mathematical error, I tried to fix that, and failed miserably.

After this week's games, I'll write my end of season power rankings. I meant to do one after Week 9, but Hurricane Sandy stole my electricity. 

I'll try and make some comments on these games, but I'm moving and therefore I've basically been a hermit since last week. That's always fun.

"UPSET ALERT" next to games in which I think the underdog will win outright, not only cover. Also, home team in CAPS.
FALCONS (-3) over Buccaneers. I was very high on the Bucs earlier this year, but they have been absolutely pathetic recently. Josh Freeman has regressed and it looks like my boy is done in Tampa. Hopefully he can reclaim his skill somewhere else. I don't even know who is going to play for Atlanta and how long they will play, especially with Julio Jones and Roddy White constantly being nagged by injuries and Tony Gonzalez constantly being nagged by old. I've just going to predict that Matt Ryan shreds the atrocious Tampa Bay secondary enough in the first half to come out with a win even though there will probably be a Luke McCown sighting in this game. Yes, Luke McCown, the guy who was just replaced by Blaine Gabbert in Jacksonville. He was replaced by a guy who looks like this and whose finest moment in the NFL is this. My suggestion, don't put any money on this game. Don't even bet a paper clip on this game. 
Jets (+3.5) over BILLS. I really don't want to pick the Jets. At all. But I don't trust the Bills and there will most likely be a fluke backdoor cover in this game. Let the Tim Tebow farewell tour begin! He'll be floundering in the Arena league by 2015. 
BENGALS (-3) over Ravens. Both teams want to lose, but unfortunately one of them has to win. The Ravens need to lose to ensure that they get the 4 seed and face the Colts at home in the Wild Card Round. The Bengals need the Ravens to win so that they face Baltimore next week instead of going to New England. I'm a believer in  the Bengals defense, and they'll accidentally pull this one out.
Bears (-3) over LIONS. The Lions aren't good, outside of Calvin Johnson getting 2,000 yards by the end of this game and the Bears got unlucky once again. Just when they were looking like a Super Bowl contender, their season was derailed by injuries, much like last year. They can still sneak in if the Vikings lose, which is very possible. If they do get in, watch out for Da Bears, an extremely sneaky team. 
TITANS (-5) over Jaguars. The Jaguars need to lose to have a chance at the #1 pick in the draft, so they're not going to try. They're not even going to hide that they are tanking, Chad Henne is starting. Okay he's not all that bad, but I've already insulted two QBs who have played for the Jags, so let's add to that list. Either way, the Titans are at home and not as bad as you would think. 
COLTS (+6.5) over Texans. Much like the Bears, the Texans season has been killed by injuries two years in a row. The Houston defense, which was the best in the league for a while, has fallen apart at the seams, excluding J.J. Watt's dominance. They haven't been that good recently, and won't make the Super Bowl unless they fix some things and get healthier. The Colts, well the Colts are Chuckstrong. Just like the Packers  win earlier this year, they'll ride this lovely wave of emotion to victory. I don't feel good picking based on emotion, but I'm not going to pick against Pagano.
Panthers (+4.5) over SAINTS. I refuse to admit that the Saints are a good team, and the Panthers have been improving throughout the season. It looks like Cam Newton has gotten over his early season struggles and is back to form. The Saints, are just not very good. UPSET ALERT.
Eagles (+7) over GIANTS. The G-Men should be saying this to themselves after their recent performance. They still have a chance at the playoffs, but they won't get in unless they get a lot of help. Note to the Giants: no team can repeatedly mess up, play well "when they have to," and sneak into the playoffs and expect that to be a formula for winning. They have talent, it's just not working right now. Michael Vick is back and looking to show everyone that he's still got it.
STEELERS (-10) over Thad Lewis. Thad Lewis is the starting quarterback for the Browns. Thaddeus Lewis, a guy who is so bad that he was on the practice squad for a team who had Colt McCoy and Brandon Weeden. I don't trust the Steelers at all, but I'm not going to pick Thad Lewis to cover. Time to insult another former Jaguar, Byron Leftwich is still alive. And he's still terrible. Leftwich may be seen when Mike Tomlin pulls Ben out of the game because A) it's a blowout, and B) because the atrocious offensive line of the Steelers is a threat to Roethlisberger's health. 
BRONCOS (-16.5) over Chiefs. I wanted to stay away from all two touchdown spreads, but the Broncos have a bye week and potentially the #1 seed to play for. They'll be trying and I trust them to blow out this terrible team. If the Chiefs lose, they lock up the first pick in the draft and Geno Smith replacing Matt Cassel/Brady Quinn. Geno has to be better than both of them, right?
VIKINGS (+3.5) over Packers. Both teams have something to play for, with the Packers gunning for a bye week and the Vikings trying to get a playoff spot. The Packers defense really isn't that great, and Adrian Peterson should shred them up, though I don't see him getting the record. 
PATRIOTS (-10.5) over Dolphins. Remember when David Garrard (former Jag) was supposed to start for the Dolphins? The Patriots need to win to have a shot at a bye week and even the first seed. 
CHARGERS (-8.5) over Raiders. The Norv Turners never lose in December, even if they are completely out of it. Goodbye Norv, I'll miss making fun of you. Let's look at the QB situation for the Raiders. Terrelle Pryor will get the start over Matt Leinart. Honestly, could this be any worse?
Cardinals (+16.5) over 49ERS. I'm not going to pick the Niners to cover this astronomical spread. They're not going to put up a ton of points and blow teams out. They need to win to get a bye week. 
SEAHAWKS (-11.5) over Rams. The Seahawks are elite. They're not going to put up 50 points again, but  they'll win big. The Rams have been a pleasant surprise this year. They have a lot of pieces defensively and with a few changes on offense could be contenders next year. 
REDSKINS (-3) over Cowboys. I do not believe in the whole narrative that Tony Romo can't win the big one. The Cowboys have let him down in big games, but he's played really well. Without him, they wouldn't even be sniffing a playoff spot. He's been phenomenal as of late, but he's going to lose in the biggest game of his career. RGIII is too god for the Dallas defense to handle. Unfortunately for Romo, he'll play well and get unfairly blamed for the poor of the rest of his teammates. 

Last Week: 10-6
Season: 115-127-4*

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